Timor-Leste flag
Timor Leste Map
  • RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  • SECURITY, RECONSTRUCTION AND PEACE
  • GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
  • ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

Timor-Leste

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Timor-Leste since 2000. Currently 39 national and eight international employees and one integrated expert are currently working in the country (as at 31 December 2017). The GIZ Office in Jakarta is responsible for cooperation with Timor-Leste and with the Republic of Indonesia, and for regional projects with the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A project office in the capital, Dili, coordinates activities in Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste is a young country in several respects. It did not gain independence until 2002, and the long struggle for independence has left its mark on the country. Compared with many other countries, the population is very young, too, with young people accounting for 38 per cent of the country’s inhabitants. Young people therefore have a key role to play in shaping Timor-Leste’s future.  

According to the World Bank, Timor-Leste is a middle-income country, but it is at the lower end of this group. Although the country earns revenue from its oil and gas reserves, half of the population is living below the poverty line. Around 750,000 of the country’s approximately one million inhabitants live in rural areas. Many of them depend on income from self-sufficiency activities. Infrastructure outside the capital Dili is poorly developed. The lack of jobs, particularly in rural areas, and the poor infrastructure are major challenges for this young nation. 

GIZ is working in Timor-Leste on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The European Union has also commissioned projects in the country. 

Cooperation between Timor-Leste and Germany focuses on peacebuilding and crisis prevention. 
GIZ and its partners are supporting measures to create new jobs and promote the private sector as a key means of crisis prevention. Young people in rural areas of eastern Timor-Leste are an important target group. In addition, measures are geared towards improving the employability and social integration of disadvantaged population groups and reducing the potential for conflict. GIZ and its partners are establishing professional advisory services to help people choose a profession and are improving existing training opportunities with a view to increasing employment levels among disadvantaged young people. 

GIZ is advising the Ministry of Agriculture on developing the agroforestry sector. This combination of agriculture and forestry is opening up new income prospects for people in rural areas. Advisory services cover topics such as higher productivity and greater yields, processing and better market access for selected products.
A further project is promoting development of maritime transport, which, among other things, safeguards passenger and freight transport between the capital Dili, the outlying island Atauro and the exclave Oecusse.